Thursday, October 14, 2010
Halloween Pet Safety Tips
Lions and tigers and bears? Oh my! Halloween may be oodles of fun for kids and adults alike (who doesn't love bucket loads of chocolate?!), but can be a very scary time for your pets. Please keep them in mind this October 31st. Here are a few safety tips to consider when the ghouls, goblins and witches start their trek through your neighbourhood:
1. No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for dogs and cats!
• Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate—and even seizures.
• Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur.
• Ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.
2. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
3. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.
4. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.
5. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
6. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.
7. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.
8. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.
Also, please remember to keep any outdoor dogs or cats INSIDE on Halloween night. There may be people out there that will try to harm your pet, so better safe than sorry!
Happy Halloween! Be safe! Tweet